Pakistan coach Waqar offers resignation for World T20 flop show

Lahore, March 29 (IANS) Pakistan coach Waqar Younis on Tuesday begged forgiveness and offered to resign after the country’s flop show in the ongoing World T20 cricket tournament.

Pakistan failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the marquee tournament, losing three successive group phase matches. Adding insult to injury was a bruising six-wicket defeat to arch-rivals India that drew fierce criticism of the under-performing players and the team management.

Waqar said the team will not improve unless the whole system is changed and made transparent. At a press conference outside the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) office in Lahore, Waqar said that “apparent makeup surgery will not work”.

“I apologise for the team’s performance in the T20 World Cup,” he was quoted as saying by, but warned against any knee-jerk reaction.

“The matter will not be solved, if we blame single individuals, whether it’s me, (Shahid) Afridi or the PCB chairman. We have to find the real inner problems.”

He said there is a need to sit down and talk to find long-term solutions, but added that he’s willing to resign if that is believed to be the solution.

“If things will improve if I leave, then I am ready to go home,” he said.

Waqar denied internal rifts in the dressing room and said it has been a difficult time for him as well.

“There is no politics in the team or any grouping. Our performance is bad and so we don’t have time for any groupings,” he said.

“The nation’s anger is justified because we did not perform well. But now is the time to make things open and clear, the time of hiding actual issues has passed. I was hurt by the team’s losses.”

The former pace legend said that being deprived of cricket at home is one of the reasons the national team has struggled.

“Although we call UAE our home but playing at home makes a huge difference and this leads to emergence of new talent,” he said. “Our domestic structure has weakened because we have not played cricket in Pakistan.”

The national cricket team coach said that his future is not necessarily linked to cricket.

“Cricket is not game of stars, it is a game of heroes,” he said while responding to a question.

“My future is not linked to cricket. I have been the coach before and I was liked by everyone. So it is not me, or a single person, it is about the system.”

Gavaskar lauds Kohli’s World T20 performance

New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) Praising Virat Kohli for his superb performance during the ongoing World Twenty20, former batting legend Sunil Gavaskar said that the Indian star is currently the best limited-overs batsman in the world.

“At the moment he is got to be the best limited-overs batsman in the world. There is no question about it. There is not the slightest doubt about it because he is beyond phenomenal. He is something else,” Gavaskar told NDTV.

“Whatever little hair that I have, my hair was standing at attention watching the young genius. It was just mindblowing stuff,” he added.

Kohli has played a starring role for India at the World Twenty20, scoring 184 runs in four matches. The 27-year-old right-hander anchored the Indian chase with 82 runs off 51 deliveries in the final group match against Australia to carry the hosts into the semi-finals.

Talking about Kohli’s performance against Australia, Gavaskar said that the Delhi lad has shown that batsmen can be successful in in the T20 format without resorting to rash strokeplay.

“He played cricketing shots and there was no wild slogging. The drives were absolutely breathtaking. Everything was so right about those shots. Also he has got the priceless gift of power and timing. And he plays correct cricket. He showed that you don’t have to play slam bang cricket in T20. You don’t have to look to hit the sixes. Four boundaries in an over he hit and then run brilliantly between the wickets and you got your 20 runs in an over,” the former India captain said.

“Just another terrific win for India, in a pressure game too. He’s been on a roll and he’s been in it for a while. He ‘s made 535 runs this year. Some people talk about being in the moment and he’s been in the moment all year. There’s not enough adjectives to the way he’s played. He just knows what shots to play at what time and he’s got the confidence to do it,” he added.

Gavaskar also lauded Kohli for maintaining a calm composure in difficult situations and performing consistently under pressure. The Delhi lad is known for being aggressive and getting into confrontations with opposition players, but Gavaskar feels that Kohli maintains his cool in tense situations.

“Look at his record when India needs runs or chasing runs. He wins the match for them every single time and it’s a combination of power and timing. It’s a combination of two hands, very few batsmen have this ability to play with both the top and the bottom hand. When he was driving off the top hand, it was phenomenal. Look at the selflessness of the man. He was quite happy to allow the strike to his skipper because he knew that the skipper would also make a statement,” Gavaskar said.

“Lot of times when you play such big innings, you want to hit the winning runs. But there he is, a complete, total team man. Thank god, he is playing for India,” he added.

“When you see him during fielding, look how animated he is. But with the bat, he is a completely different personality. He is very composed, doesn’t let any emotions come in the way.”

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